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Trial of Oswiecim Commandant Opens in Warsaw; Justice Minister Asks Death Sentence

Rudolph Hoess, one-time commandant of the notorious Oswiecim death camp, went on trial for his life here today on charges of having been responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews. At the same time a military court at Lodz began trying 25 members of the “Grozny Gang” who are accused of murdering Jews in the Lodz district.

Minister of Justice Henryk Swiatkowski, attending the opening of the Hoess trial, declared that this was the first trial in Europe in which the defendant was specifically charged with the mass murder of Jews. He emphasized that the Polish Government attached great importance to the outcome of the trial as part of the struggle against Nazi criminals whose anti-Semitic teachings are still virulent in Europe. He called for the death sentence for Hoess and asserted that “what happened to Hitler must happen to anti-Semitism.”